49ers training camp: Each position's top battle to watch in 2023

Sure, talking about the 49ers' quarterback battle will be a hot topic, but there are actually a number of juicy position battles to watch in training camp this year.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) and running back Jeff Wilson Jr. (22)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) and running back Jeff Wilson Jr. (22) / David Berding/GettyImages
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The 49ers begin training camp in a few weeks, and we break down the best battle to watch for every single position.

That means new faces and new competition to watch from the top of the 90-man offseason roster all the way down to the last player hoping to carve out a role.

But OTAs and minicamps aren't as much about competition as they are conditioning. The real competition, at least according to head coach Kyle Shanahan, doesn't happen until training camp.

And that'll be here in a matter of weeks.

Some positions have spicier depth-chart competition than others. That said, let's go unit by unit throughout the Niners' roster and identify the No. 1 battle to watch at each position in training camp.

Top 49ers special teams battle: Kicker

Players in the mix: Zane Gonzalez, Jake Moody

In late March, San Francisco engineered a trade with the Carolina Panthers for veteran kicker Zane Gonzalez, a move that seemed to land the 49ers' former kicker Robbie Gould's replacement.

Yet the trade was a mere seventh-round draft-pick swap, so it wasn't as if the Niners heavily invested in Gonzalez here.

If they did, they also likely wouldn't have used a third-round draft pick on Michigan kicker Jake Moody a month after trading for Gonzalez.

Moody is the long-term answer, yes, but Gonzalez can make the rookie's life awfully challenging by being notably better on all aspects of special teams duties.

With little hope of actually making the 53-man roster, that's about the best Gonzalez can do here.